Offbeat Attractions in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka – Places to visit on your Sri Lankan tour

The amazing coastal town in Sri Lanka, Kalutara is one of the most visited destinations in the country. While the city is known for its popular tourist attractions, there are a few hidden gems that tourists need to visit.

South Bolagoda Lake

The largest freshwater lake in the country, Bolagoda Lake offers plenty of things to do. Kayaking and canoeing are two of the popular things to do. The lake also brings you a sense of peace and serenity. You can get to the lake from any Kalutara resort in about an hour.

Fa Hien Caves

Located a little more than an hour from Avani Kalutara Resort, Fa Hien Caves are another hidden gem of Kalutara. Evidence of an early human settlement going back 37,000 years was found here by archaeologists. The cave has four sections, spacious enough to fit 3,000 people. This is a popular picnic site, so the place is quite crowded on weekends and poya days.

Beruwala Lighthouse 

Also called Barberyn Lighthouse, Beruwala Lighthouse is located on an island. Erected in 1889, the lighthouse is a sturdy structure that withstood many a disaster. You can get here by ferry, and the trip will cost you about Rs. 3,000. You cannot go inside the lighthouse, but you can explore its spectacular surroundings.

vivali, Островной маяк Бентоты – panoramio, CC BY 3.0


This isn’t so much a tourist attraction but a meditation centre. While this is an excellent place to witness the natural beauty of Sri Lanka, you shouldn’t come here if you yourself don’t want to meditate. The monks residing here are quite serious about meditating, so they don’t like the disturbance caused by tourists.

Amazing Waterfalls around the Kalutara District – Discover Them Now!

The Kalutara district, which is just shy of Colombo is a sunny district with many hidden waterfalls, waiting to be explored and uncovered! Read on to find out more about the waterfalls which await you in this district.

Image via maxpixel

Hotels in Kalutara

The beauty of Kalutara is that while you might be based in a Kalutara beach resort such as the Avani Kalutara Resort, you’re never too far from some waterfalls. Especially if you’re visiting during the rainy season, you can expect to explore some gorgeous cascades replete with gushing water.

Makeli Ela Falls

This 10-meter-high waterfall is by far one of the more popular waterfalls in Kalutara. The backdrop of which are some rugged granite boulders. The contrast of the silvery cascade against this rustic backdrop makes this stunning location to photograph as well.

Ahas Boku Ella

This waterfall is at the end of a demanding albeit rewarding trek through the thicket. It’s a 30-meter fall which is named after the illusion of the water gushing in and through the sky, making it a must-see on the waterfall circuit of Kalutara.

Maha and Bala Ella

These falls are referred to as the sibling of waterfalls, due to their difference in size and their proximity to each other. Hike up the riverbank amidst the untamed yet pristine forest cover to reach these two falls. Bathing in the rock pools is safe as well but it’s always best to stay close to the banks.

Adventure Water Sports in Bentota

A Kayak on the Bentota river
A Kayak on the Bentota river | Hafiz Issadeen | Flickr | (CC BY 2.0)

If you are visiting Sri Lanka, Bentota is definitely a place to check out for water sports. However the town is very touristy and can get busy. If you are looking for a quieter escape then Kalutara may be ideal as it is only a short drive from Bentota. Though there are a number of things to do in Kalutara, water sports are a major activity here as well as in neighboring Bentota. This is a good place to base yourself to get to neighbouring towns. Hotels such as Anantara Kalutara Resort will be more than happy to organize water sports activities for their guests.

Some of the popular adrenaline pumping activities in the area include, Jet skiing. The Jet Ski is usually rented out on hourly basis. You could either take it out for a spin by yourself or there are members from aquatic centres who could help you. Other activities include banana boat rides which are great if you are in a group. An inflatable banana like boat is dragged on the water with the help of a motorised boat. The ripples from the boat and the speed make the ride a true adventure. A similar activity is the doughnut ride.

Water skiing is also a popular activity and some of the water sports centres have veterans of the sport training. There are various levels of courses carried out such as those for beginners where special adjustments are made to the boat with bars fixed onto them.

There are also facilities to pick up a new water sport such as wind surfing if you are in the area as the beginners’ course is around 8-10 hours.

Other than that another activity that is popular in the area is diving and snorkeling. A great activity for both adults and children alike and also it’s a great place to catch a glimpse of some of the tropical fish and turtles.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.


Fun Activities to do in Kalutara

Image Credit: AVANI Kalutara Resort

While Sri Lanka’s south coast has many towns and cities along its shoreline that have become quite popular amongst locals and tourists alike, there is a quaint locale that one can tend to overlook while on your travels. The idyllic town of Kalutara with its iconic temple which towers above the townscape as you drive across the main bridge is a super spot for some fun in the sun, lazy days on the sand and frolic in the surf. There are plenty of fun things to do in Kalutara and since it is only around an hour and a half from Colombo, it makes a great place for a day trip as well.

As with most south coast locales, one of the highlights here is the golden, soft sandy stretch of beach. A perfect place for working on that holiday tan which will be the envy of all once you get back, the beach area here is ideal for everything from chilling out on the shore to building sandcastles with the kids. Ideally, look to find accommodation right along the beach itself and options such as AVANI Kalutara Resort are worth considering if you want to spend lots of time by the ocean.

If you are the active type, you can always try kayaking on the local river known as the “Kalu Ganga”. It’s a great way to get a feel of the area and get a workout at the same time! There are more water sports to be enjoyed in the lagoon area too. For more adventure look to head to the historic mansion called Richmond Castle. Constructed during the time of British colonial rule, this fascinating structure retains its old world charm even though it may have lost some of its grandeur over the many decades.

For a change of scenery, plan a visit to Thudugala Ella Falls. You will have to head a bit inland to the Thudugala Estate, located in the village of the same name, in order to get to this waterfall. In the heat that radiates throughout the country during certain months, Thudugala Ella Falls and its natural pool, in particular, is the ideal spot to cool off and enjoy time surrounded by nature.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.



Set amidst azure ocean waters, soft sandy beaches and refreshing ocean breezes, the island of Sri Lanka is a perfect place to enjoy a thrilling array of water sports including windsurfing. Look to stay at hotels Sri Lanka has to offer along the South Coast since this part of the country is well known for its idyllic shorelines that can be found in areas such as Kalutara. Amongst the leading Kalutara hotels, The Sands is well worth considering when in search of South Coast accommodation that lets you enjoy water sports as well.

Kalutara is one place in Sri Lanka that you can try your hand at windsurfing. This exciting water sport depends on wind power rather than motorised vessels. However, the lack of a speedboat is made up for by the power of the wind that propels the windsurfing board along the waves. While windsurfing can be enjoyed almost the whole year through in the South, November to April are generally considered the best months. One can hire out windsurfing boards and get lessons in this activity and be out on the waves in no time.

Kayaking in Kalutara

Kayaking in one of the more exciting activities that one may to choose to indulge when in Sri Lanka. Choose the seaside town of Kalutara and the famed Kalu Ganga which will prove to be a mesmeric experience for avid kayakers. AVANI Kalutara Resort & Spa which is a Kalutara hotel would serve as a good place to stay at. This Kalutara hotel Sri Lanka has to offer will lead you to enjoying this popular pastime.

Take in the majesty of the Kalutara Bodhiya regarded to be the only hollow Buddhist shrine in the world as head out across the waters of the Kalu Ganga. If you are lucky you might come across some of the marine life that inhabit the area. Feast your eyes on a beautiful plantation mansion and watch as you pass under the road and rail bridges that connect Kalutara to the rest of the villages down south. Such a leisure facility will afford you opportunities to take in the sights and sounds of Kalutara all at once.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry. Google+